Godrej Foods Ltd is entering the health food breakfast cereals market with its Sofit brand. So far Godrej has been marketing only one product under this brand - soya milk in tetra packs.
Godrej will launch the 'soya-based' breakfast cereal, which, it claims, offers the dual benefit of soya and wheat, strengthening its positioning as a 'health food.' Multinational Kellogg's dominates the breakfast cereal market.
Initially Sofit cereal will be launched in the North and Godrej plans to create a market share in the breakfast cereals market based on what it calls its affordable pricing policy according to Godrej Foods executive vice-president sales and marketing M Y Verma.
The company plans to offer a 200gm pack of Sofit priced at Rs30 against Kellogg's Rs70.
US-based Kellogg's, Bagry's and Mohan's mainly dominate the Rs400-crore breakfast cereal market, which is growing at 10 per cent per annum. The segment, with products like cornflakes and daliya (wheat porridge) has been a laggard despite aggressive promotion campaigns by the American multinationals.
Analysts say that with a variety of traditional breakfast items available such as dosa, idli poha and daliya at much lower prices it is difficult to get consumers to shift to breakfast cereals.
However, Godrej promises that the cereal will find a market since, it feels, health consciousness among Indians is growing and because its product is reasonably priced.
Godrej is at present outsourcing the manufacture of Sofit and would consider having its own manufacturing facility once it goes national. The product will initially be launched in Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana in the North as the region accounts for almost 40 per cent of the entire breakfast cereal market.
The company plans to invest Rs2.5 crore to promote the brand in 2005, and is targeting to sell about 400 tonne in the first three months of the launch.
Godrej Foods, a division of Godrej Industries, which manufactures and markets Xs fruit juices, Godrej tomato puree and Sunshakti and Cooklite edible oils, posted a sales turnover of Rs196 crore during 2003-04.